John Speller's Web Pages Waterford, Limerick & Western Railway

John Speller's Web Pages - Great Southern Railways
Waterford, Limerick & Western Railway Untitled


The Waterford & Limerick Railway was incorporated by an Act of 21 July 1845 and opened its first line from Limerick to Tipperary on 9 May 1846. The 5 ft. 3 in. gauge line was extended to Clonmel in May 1852, Fiddown in April 1853, Dunkitt in August 1853, and finally reached Waterford in September 1854. There it connected with the ferry to the Great Western Railway terminal at Milford Haven in South Wales. A number of extensions were added in the 1880s, at which time the company became known as the Waterford, Limerick & Western Railway. It amalgamated with the Great Southern & Western Railway of Ireland on 1 January 1901, by which time it amounted to 342 miles. The Fishguard & Rosslare Railways & Harbours Company was already being planned in conjunction with the Great Western Railway at the timer of the merger with the GS&WR.

Richard Boyse Osborne (1815-1899), who had previously worked on the Philadelphia & Reading Railroad in the USA, was appointed Engineer of the Waterford & Limerick Railway in 1845, a post he held until 1852. He was responsible among other things for fourteen Howe-truss bridges, including a remarkable skew truss bridge at Ballysimon and the first bogie coaches in Britain.

Henry Appleby (d. 1889) was Locomotive Superintendent of the W&LR between 1884 and 1888, during which time he was responsible for recruiting
J. G. Robinson
from the GWR. He had trained on the GWR under Gooch, and had also been Locomotive Superintendent of the Monmouthshire Railway & Canal Co., and of the West Cornwall Railway, where he was also briefly General Manager. He retired after a serious accident in 1888 and died a few months later.

John George Robinson, C.B.E. (1856-1943) was Locomotive Superintendent 1888-1900 before moving to the Great Central Railway.

Map of the Waterford, Limerick & Western Railway in 1900. To enlarge click here
Waterford & Limerick Railway 2-4-0 No. 31, built at the Vulcan Foundry in 1874
Waterford & Limerick Railway 5 ft. 2-2-2, built by Stothert & Slaughter of Bristol in 1846
Henry Appleby's 4-4-0 No. 12 "Earl of Bessborough," built by the Vulcan Foundry in 1886
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